My second read-through of this book. The first time I read it was when I started the editing process for my novel, A Confession. This read-through is while I’m editing my upcoming novel, The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks. As I read it the first time I found quite a few useful tips – especially for things to be conscious of in my own writing as I self-edited. And I firmly believe A Confession turned out all the better for it.
Now, as I edit my next novel, I’ve returned to this book – and am glad I did. Again I was reminded of a lot of things I need to watch for in my writing, things that are already making this next book considerably better as I go through the first round of edits. Sure, I learned quite a bit the first time through – and it’s helped my first drafts require less work to clean. But still, after all the reminders and new highlights and notes from my last read-through, I’ve decided that with each book I release I’ll be revisiting this little guide.
Of course, nothing in here is completely revelatory. It’s a guide of a lot of the basic things writers should be looking at and editing toward to make their work stronger, more readable, and still retain a strong personal voice. Ideas such as show vs. tell, dialogue mechanics and how to use beats effectively … but they’re all important aspects of quality writing, and as I’m not an editor by trade, I find them easy to forget as I pour out first drafts.
If you’re an author, or aspire to be one, I strongly recommend adding Self-Editing for Fiction Writers to your library. Whether you plan to submit to an agent or publish independently, your work will be all the better for it. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough.